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Made with a combination of grated cold butter for flavor and vegetable shortening for tenderness, Carla Hall's biscuits owe their towering, flaky layers to her classic laminating technique.

November 2021


Credit: Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Torie Cox

Recipe Summary

20 mins
55 mins
About 20 biscuits


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Add shortening; using your fingertips, pinch and work shortening into flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Grate butter using large holes of a box grater into flour mixture. Toss and pinch quickly with your fingers until all butter pieces are well-coated in flour mixture, about 30 seconds.

  • Lightly spray work surface with cooking spray, and sprinkle with flour. (Spray keeps flour in place.) Add buttermilk to flour mixture in bowl, and stir together to form a shaggy, sticky dough with no dry flour remaining. Turn dough out onto prepared work surface. Lightly coat hands with flour; gently pat dough using heels of hands to form a 1/2-inch-thick rectangle (about 11 x 7 1/2 inches). Fold rectangle into thirds (like folding a letter). Repeat process of patting and folding 2 times.

  • Preheat oven to 450°F. Using a lightly-floured 2 1/4-inch round cutter, cut dough, stacking, reshaping, and cutting scraps until all dough is used. Turn dough rounds smooth side up; arrange 3/4 inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate, uncovered, until cold, about 15 minutes.

  • Bake chilled dough in preheated oven until tops are golden brown and lightly crisped, 16 to 20 minutes. Let biscuits cool on pan 5 minutes.

Make Ahead

Freeze unbaked biscuits on pan, and transfer to a resealable freezer bag. Freeze up to 2 months.